ShadowTech Day, organised by NZ Tech, provides young women in years 9 -11 with an opportunity to experience what working in the tech sector could be like, encouraging them onto education pathways that lead into tech sector roles. The programme connects young women at school with women working in the tech sector, who act as a mentors. Secondary school students get to spend a day with the woman in tech, experiencing a day in the life of an IT professional.
Phoebe Dobson, Theta’s Head of Project Delivery, led our participation, and was a mentor for two young women on the day - Sam from Marist College and Patrina from Henderson High School. Says Phoebe:
“Overall it was a very positive experience for us and the students. They said it was different to usual careers events – rather than just listening to speakers they got to see first-hand what people do at work.”
The ShadowTech Day
Phoebe picked the students up from the morning briefing event, then brought them back to the office, where she introduced them to her role as Head of Project Delivery, followed by a tour of the office and the chance to meet some of the people who work at Theta. Sam and Patrina joined our weekly project delivery team meeting, hearing about some of the projects we’re working on, and then joined the women of Theta for the all-important monthly “Ladies Lunch” – a chance to chat informally with many of the women who work in our Auckland office. Back to HQ for more from our project team, then back to school at the end of the day.
Exposure to tech as a career option
Current international research shows that just three percent of 15-year-old New Zealand schoolgirls consider a career in tech, while women make up only 23 percent of those employed in tech-related occupations. Events like ShadowTech Day are an important step towards turning these stats around.
“It was a great initiative to be involved in – providing the young women with a window into our world. I’d like to see something more sustained – more than just a one-off half day – but it’s a great start. We’ll definitely be doing ShadowTech Day again next year.” Phoebe Dobson, Head of Project Delivery